Debates of 10 Dec 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10 a.m.
At the Commencement of Public Business, Hon Majori ty Leader --
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbour 10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we can take item 4(a) and then move to item 6.
Mr Speaker 10 a.m.
Is it only item 4(a)? I would want to get all the Papers that are ready to be laid this morning.
Dr Kunbour 10 a.m.
Yes -- the other Hon Chairmen would be with us. They are in consultation.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Special Budget Committee can lay the Papers that are ready. I think he is in the Chamber.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, Presenta- tion of Papers, item 4(a) by the Chairman of the Committee --
PAPERS 10:10 a.m.

Dr Kunbour 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can take item 4(e) --
By the Chairman of the Committee --
(i) Report of the Special Budget Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
(ii) Report of the Special Budget Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Public Services Commission (PSC) for the year ending 31st December,
2014.
(iii)Report of the Special Budget Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Audit Service for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Item 4(e) (iv) --
rose
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Dr Prempeh --
Dr Prempeh 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I said item 4(e) (iv) and (v), we would be considering them this afternoon.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
They are not ready?
Dr Prempeh 10:10 a.m.
They are not ready.
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we can take item 4 (b).
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we can now take item 6.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, item number 6 on the Order Paper -- Motions -- Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing?
[Pause.]--
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we can take item 5.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, item number 6 on the Order Paper -- Motions -- Hon Minister for Communications.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was wondering because the indication that I had was that, we were going to start with item number 6.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Yes, that was what the Hon Majority Leader made the application for. I called the Hon Minister but I was
advised by the Clerks-at-the-Table that they have not distributed the Report. That is the information I just got.
Hon Minister for Communications, item number 5 -- Motions.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe yesterday, you gave a ruling that from now, someone must come from the Ministry of Finance. No one is here. This is the Budget season. Mr Speaker, this is too serious. So, I think --
Apart from the fact that we do not have a quorum, at least, if the Hon Minister for Finance is not here, we would have a difficulty with the Appropriation. I think you ruled yesterday and we have to stick to our decision. We cannot keep repeating it. If there is an error, what is going to happen? Mr Speaker, this is a very serious matter.
I sympathise with the Hon Minister for Government Business in Parliament, but I think Parliament must put its foot down. This is too serious. We cannot keep pretending.
Mr Speaker, I think that you should exercise your powers.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
I would want to hear from the Hon Majority Leader who is the Minister for Government Business in Parliament and then the Hon Minority Leader. I will hear from the two Hon Leaders.
Hon Majority Leader, you have heard the comments coming from the Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, the Hon Minister has two deputies who are Hon Members of this House. What is holding them back? We are dealing with estimates and you know that when we make a mistake in the micro-ceilings, it would finally affect the final estimates? You know this as a fact?
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I really wish I knew. Unfortunately, I cannot explain this situation with three Ministers from the Ministry of Finance. If I had been advised on that matter -- but the assurance I had yesterday was that, at least, one of the deputies would be here for us to begin with the Business of the House.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I want to hear from you.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I cannot contradict what the Hon Majority Leader has said. In this case, he spoke not only as Majority Leader but as the Hon Minister for Government Business in Parliament. If he says that he cannot explain the absence of the Ministers, Mr Speaker, who am I to hazard a guess? And I think it is just too serious to be ignored.
Mr Speaker, even at a time that we are considering the estimates, look at the numbers in the House? Less than 50 of us --
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Well, that is another matter.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is germane.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
It is an important matter but that is another matter.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
I know but it is germane to the discourse in the House. -- [Laughter] -- This is because --
I should think that because we are considering the estimates, we can agree that we would work up to a certain point. These are initial stages, perhaps, maybe, at 12 o'clock or one o'clock, break into the various committee meetings. But what is happening is not the best.
Mr Speaker, I think for emphasis, it is important that we have, at least, one of the Ministers from the Ministry of Finance to be with us. It is important.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, I suspend Sitting for one hour.
If in one hour, they are not here, I would come and adjourn the House till tomorrow.
10.18 a.m.-- Sitting suspended
11.25 a.m.-- Sitting resumed.
MR SPEAKER
ANNOUNCEMENTS -- 10:10 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, Com- munication from the Office of the President
SPACE FOR LETTER - PAGE 1
- 11.25A.M.
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we can go back to the Presentation of Papers and take the Papers that are ready in item
4.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Very well. So, which ones are ready?
[Pause] --
Which Papers are ready, Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item 4(a).
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
We have laid item 4(a), we have laid item 4(b).
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Then we can go to item 4(d).
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
We have laid item 4(e) (i), (ii), (iii).
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker item 4(d).
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Very well.
PAPERS 10:10 a.m.

Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can take item number 5.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Are you on your feet?
Mr Baidoe-Ansah 10:10 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, yesterday was a day against corruption and a lot of examples that people gave bordered on Parliament. To be specific, there is an allegation -- or people are saying that Members of Parliament (MPs) have been given some phones as bribes, which has taken a turn, that for now, that is the best example everyone is giving.
But Mr Speaker, I am raising this because of the fact that it is not true and I believe that people are referring to Members of Parliament that have been put on the national security network. I believe that is the example. This is because I asked round and they were talking about a phone. But what we have access to now is more of a national security backbone and no one has given Members of Parliament phones. But I would want to bring it to your attention, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Let me just take the two Leaders on this matter, so Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with what the Hon Member for Effia-Kwesimintsim -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I am told “Effia” is gone from Kwesimintsim.
Mr Speaker, I think basically the issue that is raised is important. The facility that has been given to Members of Parliament is a security facility; they are not cellphones as such and they are supposed to enhance the work that we do.
Mr Speaker, so, that is what there is to it. If anybody alleges that it is supposed to be bribe given to Members of Parliament. I think that person may be wrong and I think for the avoidance of doubt, it is important to state this for the records.
So, I agree with him and I believe the Majority Leader would add to what we have just said.
Dr Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this issue was brought to my attention and then the source was again traceable to the Committee on Defence and Interior. When we did the crosschecking, we found out that there was indeed, no issue on the matter -- even those security phones are not the property of Hon Members.
They actually have been assigned along constituency basis and if any Member is leaving this House, he cannot take that communication equipment away. So, it is actually not a property for any individual Member of Parliament. I think we need to set that record straight. And rightly, as the Hon Member who raised the issue has said, one cannot even communicate outside the particular circuit for which it is there.
Mr Speaker would know that there are many important reasons this additional security feature has to be introduced in the House. In fact, they are building up a database in which every Hon Member would have his number actually coded on it and one should be able to call a Member on that circuit without having to go on any other platforms.
So, Mr Speaker, this is the position on the matter.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Member for Kwesimintsim, for bringing the House's attention to this matter.
Indeed, I read it in the media and I tried to find out the details from the Majority Leader and he gave me the explanation. Initially, I was minded of referring this matter to the Committee of Privileges but later on when he gave me the explanation
-- 11:35 a.m.

ANNUAL ESTIMATES 11:35 a.m.

Minister for Communications (Dr Edward O. Boamah) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢93,988,899 for the services of the Ministry of Communications for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I wish to draw the attention of the House to the fact that the Ministry exists to manage the convergence of communications and technologies; to facilitate the promotion of a viable integrated national development process within a global setting.
Over the 2013 Budget year, we were able to complete as much as 107 kilometres of the eastern corridor fibre optic backbone network. These, when comple- ted would serve over 120 beneficiary towns which include Yendi, Bimbilla, Golokwati, Biakpa, et cetera. Over that same period as well, we were able through the Kofi Annan Information Commu- nication Technology (ICT) Centre, to train as many as 162 students in the Cisco Certified Network Associate Professionals Programme.
Over the same period, two ICT Centres were set up at the Ghana National Fire Service Headquarters and Training School respectively with the particular purpose of ensuring that their training incorporates ICT and telecommunication in particular.
In this particular index year, we seek to ensure that the National Telecommuni- cation Policy would be reviewed to reflect current global trends. We also seek to provide a Tertiary Institutions Access Network to schools such as St. Theresa's Training College, Hohoe, University for
Development Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, University College of Education, Winneba and OLA College of Education, Cape Coast.
We also intend to provide 100 automatic weather systems to improve the meteorological services that the Ghana Meteorological Agencies have been providing so far.
In the area of cyber security, we intend to set up computer emergency response team to strengthen our ability as a nation, to prevent and also respond to cyber threats.
The automation of the Ghana Revenue Authority and Registrar-General's Department would also be vigorously pursued.
Last but not least, e-Justice which has been expanded to include the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General's Department, e-Parliament and e-Health and other e-Applications will also be pursued.
Mr Speaker, on the account of these laudable initiatives, and what were able to achieve in the year 2013, I so move.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Herod Cobbina) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to support the Motion ably moved by the Minister for Communications and in doing so, I would like to present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
The draft Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Communications for 2014 were referred to the Select Committee on Communications for consideration and
report in accordance with Orders 140 (4) and 182 of the Standing Orders of the House. This followed the presentation to Parliament of the 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government by the Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 140 (2) of the Standing Orders of the House.
The Minister for Communications, Hon Edward Omane Boamah, and a technical team from the Ministry and its departments and agencies, as well as officers from the MoF, assisted the Committee during its deliberations.
Reference documents
The Committee consulted the following documents:
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
The Standing Orders of the House.
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 financial year.
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2013 financial year.
Report of the Ministry of Com- munications on the actual releases and expenditure of the Ministry of Communications for 2013 (January - October).
Vision and Mission of the Ministry
The Ministry of Communications (MoC) has the core responsibility of initiating and developing national policies aimed at achieving cost-effective infor-
mation and communications infrastructure and services, for the enhancement and promotion of economic competitiveness in line with the policy guidelines of the Medium Term National Development Policy Framework (MTNDPF) 2014-2017.
Vision
The vision of the Ministry of Communications (MoC) is to manage the convergence of communications and technologies to facilitate the promotion of a viable integrated national develop- ment process within a global setting.
Mission
Ministry of Communications exists to facilitate the development of a reliable and cost-effective world-class Communica- tions infrastructure and services, driven by appropriate technological innovations and accessible by all citizens to enhance the promotion of economic competitive- ness in a knowledge-based environment.
Policies, objectives and strategies
Policies
The Ministry's policy is based on the global commitments and benchmarks for the promotion of an Information Society and it aims at spreading the use of ICT as an enabler for wealth creation, promotion of national cohesion and growth as well as a tool for poverty reduction. Specifically, the policies aim at --
i. promoting Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as tools that facilitate the production, transmission and processing of information for competitiveness in the global market place;
ii. providing an open, affordable, secure, globally available, seamless communications infrastructure and access to information for the country at all times -- “Universal Access”;
iii. enhancing reliability and efficiency in the provision of communication services;
iv. facilitating the injection of new technological innovations into existing forms of economic activities in the micro, small and medium-scale enterprises;
v. promoting the mechanism through which ICTs can lead to E- governance and better govern- ment services at all levels from the local to the national levels in health, education and environ- mental sectors;
vi. using the medium of ICTs access, including access to the internet to promote ‘e'-commerce to enable local business have access to the improved trends on global market in their import- export transactions and thereby reduce transaction cost of business and in the process improve internal efficiency;
vii. promoting aggressive private sector participation in telecom service delivery in a liberalised, regulatory and tax environment conducive for the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and venture capital needed to revamp businesses;
viii. streamlining and updating the regulatory laws and regulations
in conformity with changing industry trends to maximise benefits;
ix. using communications and meteorological forecasting through global positioning satellites to determine where, when and how to plant crops to promote increased agricultural productivity and food security;
x. promoting the requisite capacity building framework to support human resource development and specialised technical skills needed to meet the market growing needs ICT talent; and
xi. building trust among the public, private and civil society to acknowledge the Internet as a potentially helpful tool rather than a cure-all tool.
Policy objectives
The broad objectives are to develop policies, programmes, regulations and laws that will help integrate commu- nications technologies and public information systems for national development, and also harness the full potential of resources for effective communication. The objectives include:
i. To promote the development of communications infrastructure and services for national development.
ii. To support the development of ICT industry, research, develop- ment and networking among stakeholders.
iii. To promote e-government and e- governance activities for trans- parency in Government business.
iv. To promote and encourage the expansion of postal services for the social and economic development of the country.
v. To facilitate the provision of quality meteorological data and forecasts in support of weather sensitive sectors of the economy;
vi. To invest and strengthen the institutional and human resource capacities for quality service delivery;
vii. To review and develop policies that will enhance the self- financing regulatory bodies in a competitive ICT environment.
To pursue these broad objectives, the MoC has set specific tasks which include the following:
i. To facilitate the developments of nationwide communications and technologies infrastructure and services at minimum cost to promote accelerated growth in agriculture, industry, trade and service sectors to ensure poverty reduction.
ii. To facilitate the interoperable application of computers and networks to improve the quality and efficiency of public services, to strengthen government information flow internally as to promote accountability and transparency in governance.
iii. To review and develop policy regulations and laws that will enhance the efficient functioning and self-financed regulatory
bodies dedicated to the sustenance of a pro-competitive postal, electronic telecommunications and ICTs environment.
iv. To support the creation of a broad based communications and technological environment that will enhance the promotion of private sector investments and accelerate the vibrant development of IT or IT -Enabled Services industry.
v. To strengthen the institutional and human resource capacities through training and development to enable the human capital adapt to new range of educational, legalistic and technical obligations contingent to the successful implementation of ‘e' applications to development.
vi. To develop and oversee policy and legislation that will promote hardware and software development and marketing at national and international levels.
vii. To undertake sectoral and institutional education on HIV/ AIDS and its implication on integrated national development.
Strategies
The Ministry will adopt the following strategies in furtherance of its objectives and policies: it will --
i. promote Ghana to become the leading international ICTs centre in the sub-Saharan region by facilitating the establishment of major network application centres and operational data centres for international companies in the sub-region to source information;
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I crave the indulgence of my Hon Colleague, that we are in the process of trying to approve the estimates, but already he has used the word “was approved”. If it has been approved, why are we here? So, if he can make that amendment, it would help.
Mr Cobbina 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the proposed amount to be approved.
A more independent NITA
The Committee suggested that, to encourage NITA's independence, steps must be taken to help the outfit generate
funds internally. This can be achieved by ensuring that all the MDAs that use NITA's services pay a fee.
Conclusion
In the light of the foregoing, the Committee recommends that the House approves the total sum of GH¢ 93,988,899.00 made up of GH¢ 11,214,382.00 from GoG, GH¢1,780,220.00 from Internally Generated Funds, and GH¢ 80,994,297.00 from Development Partners, for the implementation of the Strategies and Policies of the Ministry of Communi- cations for the 2014 financial year.
Respectfully submitted.

Ranking Member of the Committee (Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion on the floor, for us to approve the budget estimates totalling GH¢93,988,899 to the Ministry of Communications.

Mr Speaker, I have reservations. Inasmuch as I support the approval of this budget, I personally believe that --and since the Minister for Finance is here, he should listen to us carefully, so that next time round, they would be able to help the Ministry achieve its goals.
Dr Ahmed Y. Alhassan 11:45 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I do not want the Hon Ranking Member to mislead the public.
Mr K. O. Agyapong 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I entreat my Hon Colleague to be abreast with time. What is going on? Mr Speaker, I would want to give details to my Friend. He is my very good Friend, anyway.

I am defending my Committee, so, I am not going to speak for the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. I am speaking for the Ministry of Communications and not the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. So, the Hon Member can deal with science and I will deal with technology in terms of --

Mr Speaker, if you look at the 2013 Estimates, the budget allocation for “assets”, not even twenty per cent was released to the Ministry. An important Ministry like this, what do you expect them to do? So, what we are pleading with the Hon Minister for Finance is that, next time, they should consider the importance of the Ministry based on what is going on in the world now in terms of communication technology. I think that would make my Hon Friend happy because I restricted myself.

Mr Speaker, I would want to address the issue here and that is, when you take the Public Interest Accountability Committee's Report, you would see that the Presidency or the Government Machinery was given GH¢65 million and

all the Ministries lined up here, Ministry of Communications is not part of it. Nothing was given or allocated to the Ministry of Communications. It tells you that as a nation, we do not prioritise our needs. If we follow the trend and what is going on in the world --

I attended an International Tele- communication Union (ITU) Conference in Poland. Mr Speaker, it was so embarrassing that every negative statement that was made at the conference was referred to Africa. They said we were lagging behind. When you look at the budget here, we did not even complete yesterday and we cannot even talk of today. These countries are talking of the future, fifteen years, twenty years ahead and we are still here, even 2013 Budget, we could not fulfil.

This is a problem and if we really want to take ICT serious, then Mr Speaker, we urge you to ask the Minister for Finance to consider the importance of the Ministry of Communications and next time, allocate resources that would help them take care of the business that is assigned to them.

Mr Speaker, when you take the Ghana Meteorological Agency and the work they perform -- we had a meeting with them and their complaints were that, they render the services to the Ghana Airport Company and these services are not paid for and because of that they are not able to function properly. We are asking your good office to call the two Hon Ministers from the two Ministries -- the Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Transport to iron out the issues, so that something would be given to the Ghana Meteorological Agency.

This is because everything is going to the Ghana Airport Company. I was suggesting that for the Ghana Airport

Company to see and realise the importance of the Ghana Meteorological Agency, they should cut them off for just twenty minutes and they would realise that it is an important agency that they have to take care of. This is because everything goes to the Ghana Airport Company and nothing is given to the Ghana Meteorological Agency. That is hampering their work and therefore, we ask your good office to intercede. This is because it looks like the two Ministries are fighting over the moneys that come from this service.

Again, I would want to talk about the National Information and Technology Agency (NITA). NITA is performing very good functions that would help move this country forward when it comes to the e- Government, e-Health, Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) and all those agencies that NITA is building this platform for. I suggest that NITA should be able to charge even Parliament for building this platform for us.

It has to be able to charge e-Justice, the Judiciary and the Ministry of Health. If all these moneys are given to NITA, they would be able to expand the platform for everybody to enjoy. But with what is going on, NITA provides all these services to the agencies or Ministries and nothing is given to them. They come with noble faces to the Committee and only lament of the problems that they are facing. I think it is about time that the Hon Minister for Finance took note of this.

I am talking and the Hon Minister for Finance is talking to somebody else. We want him to listen, so that he would take care of NITA. It is a very, very important Agency that we need to help, if we really want to keep abreast with time and the development that is going on in terms of telecommunication, ICT and the rest.

I believe with these few words, I would urge my Colleagues to support the Motion to approve the budget of GH¢93,988,899.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion for the approval of GH¢93,988,889 for the work of the Ministry of Communications and its agencies.
Mr Speaker, I would want to put on record that Ghana, at the level of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is celebrated as one of the most dynamic ICT countries in the world. I share the opinion and the view that we should construe the Ministry of Communications as an infrastructure Ministry and support them with the necessary investment.
In many parts of the world, Mr Speaker, today, access to broadband, particularly in Finland, is now being debated, whether it should not be a human right issue, that people should have access to broadband. I believe when the Hon Minister supported, he can expand, through mobile broadband or other interventions, our access to internet services wherever we are. Communication affects the way we work, entertain and many other issues.
Mr Speaker, may I refer you to paragraph 6.0.4 of your Committee's Report, which is on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Network on the basis of the Antalya decision? Ghana has up to June 2015 for a deadline and to encourage the Hon Minister, together with the Hon Minister for Finance, to take this as an urgent matter. We need to migrate from analogue radio and television to digital radio and television which would give us some spectrum dividend and the dividend may be able to pay for itself, depending upon what Government does with it.
Mr Joe Baidoe-Ansah (NPP -- Kwesimintsim) 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion and would want to bring to attention the fact that the Ministry's Budget, which originally was GH¢735, 288.99, was scaled down by the Ministry of Finance to GH¢93,988,899.
Mr Speaker, if we look at the disparity between the two, you could see that a lot of the work that the Ministry of Communications intends doing would not be done as a result of this cut. It would definitely affect the work of the Ministry and the rate at which we are developing in terms of the ICT sector.
So, I would want to take this opportunity to bring to the attention of the Ministry of Finance, that it is important to ensure that that sector is well taken care of; This is because that sector is currently the sector that is driving the world and we do not have to be left behind.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to say that the amount of money that has been given to the Ministry is not enough; it is also important that we make good use of what we have.
One thing that I believe the Ministry should be sensitive to, is the question of transparency. It looks like we are a bit blurred when it comes to the issue of transparency and the use of money in that sector. Mr Speaker, if you take the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), this was a Fund that was set up to ensure access to communities that otherwise would not be able to be connected to the rest of the Ghanaian society.
This is because, most of the telecom- munication companies, before investing in any community or area, would want to look at the returns. In some areas, it would not be profitable for them to go there, so, this Fund was set up.
But currently, we see a trend where the Fund is not being used to open up these rural communities. Rather, we find the Fund being used to set up ICT centres in the Ghana National Fire Service and other places where, otherwise, the national budget should be able to take care of.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:55 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, on the object of the GIFEC, he has got only one leg of the object of the Fund. It is not misplaced for the Fund to be used for under connected or less connected areas. But for him to say provision of ICT centre, it is integral to the mandate of the Fund to extend ICT services to every deprived group, including security agencies.
Mr Baidoe -Ansah 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am wondering which is more important in terms of policy when you have a Fund to connect rural areas to --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, the point he made was that the impression you created was that the sole object of the Fund was to connect rural areas where there are no networks. He is telling you that, yes, you are right, but there are other objects and you only mentioned one. That is the point he sought to correct. Which one is more important, is another matter.
Mr Baidoe-Ansah 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Fund was set up by law and we all agreed that if we are setting up such a Fund, there will be a time that the whole of Ghana would be connected but you would still
have the funds to use. I am saying that in terms of priority, when there is someone sitting somewhere in Axim and would have to climb a tree before he makes a call , it is more important to use the Fund to connect that person than to go and build an ICT centre at the Ghana Naional Fire Service Training School in Accra, which is not part of their core business.
Mr Speaker, these factors were put in because we believe that one day, the whole of Ghana would be connected and then you can look at the Ghana National Fire Service and other places. But you do not start from the Ghana National Fire Service, and nursing homes, while people are climbing trees to make calls. That is what my problem is.
So, Mr Speaker, I am calling on the Hon Minister to ensure that we bring back the philosophy behind the setting up of this Fund and ensure that every Ghanaian, irrespective of where you live or where you go or farm, would have access to telephony.
Mr Speaker, the other issue is the digital migration. We have set for ourselves a very good target, that is, a time even before the time we have been given to migrate, which I think is a good policy. This is because we need to get ready for what is ahead of us; we should not work up to that period. So, it is a good policy that we have given ourselves up to December, 2014 to finish with our preparation.
But Mr Speaker, one issue of transparency that I would want to emphasise in that sector is the fact that we keep talking about Public-Private- Partnership (PPP). That PPP arrangement in the digital platform, we have to re-look at it as a country. Why I say we should look at it again is that, we have a constitutional injunction on this country to ensure that governmental control over
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, wind up. Conclude.
Mr Baidoe-Ansah 12:05 p.m.
To conclude, Mr Speaker, I am praying the Hon Minister to ensure that the National Media Commission plays an important role in this question of migration.
With these few words, I support the Motion.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion to approve the amount that has been indicated for the Ministry, and I am urging the rest of the House to do so. But I have two quick points to make.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the Report on page 7, the Committee talked about the
postal and courier services and you would recall that an L. I. passed through this House and has become law now. It is important for us, as a country, to make sure that the Regulations are followed rigorously; because postal and courier services may be the route by which all kinds of people, including terrorists will begin to pass through dangerous materials that could affect all of us.
Therefore, the Ministry, in getting this approval, must also intensify and ensure that the Commission does the right thing.
Parliament has looked at it and it is important. I would wish that the Com- mission should look at this very carefully and also ensure that other services are regularly inspected as indicated in the Report.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to talk about the e-Health, and that is on page 12 of the Report. The Integrated e-Health System would help us greatly. Apart from improving the technology in disease detection and treatment by experts elsewhere and in the remote areas of our country, we are by these integrated health services, going to reduce the cons- truction of huge facilities -- hospitals and big structures which are more costly.
If we integrate our health and use the e-Health, it would reduce the cost of running health but improve on the quality of our health in this country.
I will urge the Hon Minister to work closely with the Ministry of Health, such that this becomes a reality, and what obtains elsewhere can be done in Ghana. Like in the rural areas, you could have the doctor in the urban areas giving the instruction to health staff and health workers, so that they can take care of complex conditions before they can move them.
I urge that the Ministry should take this serious and ensure that the Integrated e-Health System is part of our health delivery.
Ms Shirley A. Botchwey (NPP -- Anyaa/Sowutuom) 12:15 p.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion numbered 5, and that is, to approve the sum of GH¢93,988,899 for the Ministry of Communications.
Mr Speaker, those who have spoken before me have talked about the resource needs of the Ministry, what they requested, which is over GH¢700 million and the amount that the Ministry was allocated.
It is most unfortunate that the Ministry was only allocated about 13 per cent of what it requested. Mr Speaker, we know how important the Ministry of Communications is, in ensuring and facilitating infrastructure services in the communications and technology sector. It is so important that they should be able to carry out all their programmes and projects that they have slated for any given year.
In the year 2014, they have so many important programmes and projects. It looks like they will not be able to carry out these projects or these programmes because they have not been allocated enough money.
Anytime you talk about the Ministry or any Ministry, actually with the Ministry of Finance, what they will tell you is that during the mid-year review, it would be
looked at. Unfortunately, this becomes just a talk. When it comes to actual allocation, not much is added on to their budget during the mid-year review.
Mr Speaker, when you look at the year 2012, the Ministry was allocated quite a lot of money. I believe, over GH¢400,000, when it comes to goods and services. Unfortunately, in 2013, they were only given GH¢40 million plus. As a result, they were not able to do a lot, including constructing the Community Information Centres and also making progress with the digital terrestrial television migration.
This is so important, like others have already said. It is quite worrying because if they are not able to do what they are supposed to do, then the Ministry would have a problem because they would not be able to achieve anything.
When you come to the area of assets, absolutely nothing was allocated to the Ministry. In 2014, we hope that the Ministry of Finance, in the middle of the year, will increase their allocation so that they will be able to carry out their programmes. An important one that I believe is coming up is the e-Parliament. I think it is very important. We all know how important it is for Ghana Parliament to go electronic.
There is also the e-Justice system, that is, the judicial system -- e-Procurement, e-Immigration and, of course, the health system as well.
Also, they have laudable programmes such as putting the Ghana Police Service on the system and also to expand the e- Government system that they already have in place where Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are now talking to one another. But it needs to be expanded into the districts and the municipalities throughout the whole country. We need
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Minister for Communications, do you want to wind up because I would want to put the Question?
Dr Boamah 12:15 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Very useful remarks have been given.
In thanking the House, I would want to state that much as we did not derive what we expected, the total amount of GH¢93,988,899 is about 65 per cent improvement over that of the 2013 fiscal year.
We have also taken into account the amendment of section 12(2) of the Ghana Meteorological Agency Act which will enable them specifically derive some returns from the services that they offer particularly, to the aviation sector.
I must also assure the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry that per the Antalya Declaration in 2006, we are vigorously pursuing the digital terrestrial transition. By the end of December, 2014, it is our hope that we would have completed that.
Accompanying that will be the need to put in place a legal framework that will ensure that we no longer import analogue television sets into the country, and we will be coming back to the House with the appropriate legal framework.
I must emphasise that the work of the Digital Broadcasting Migration Committee involves the National Media Commission and so, we have taken that into account. As we speak, the entire infrastructure is being funded by the Government of Ghana through a China Exim Bank facility.
We are still at the level of discussing who is to manage the infrastructure. So, we would take the proposal to let the National Media Commission manage and also bring it on board as we look at other options that will be mutually beneficial.
I would also add that the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has a wider mandate, which goes beyond rural telephony. It also includes the provision of ICT equipment and infrastructure, which, indeed, deals with their universal access programmes, which ensures that un-served and under-served areas are given ICT and telecommunications facilities. They try as much as possible to draw a balance between rural telephony and the provision of ICT.
In short, I would want to thank you very much for the useful suggestions that we have received here.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved.
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢93,988,899 for the services of the Ministry of Communications for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Item number 6 -- Motion -- Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing
Mr Agbesi 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would want item number 6 deferred for further consultation.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
So, which item are we taking?[Pause.]
Mr Agbesi 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry.
Let us take the item 6 -- Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
I am sorry for the first announcement.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 12:25 p.m.

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing (Alhaji Collins Dauda) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢531,389,023 for the services of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing for the year ending 31st December,
2014.
Mr Speaker, this request is being made to enable the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to continue to increase and improve access to safe and affordable water for our people living in the urban, peri-urban and rural areas of the country.
Mr Speaker, it will also enable us continue to provide decent shelter for our people.
Lastly, it will enable us continue to undertake hydrological works, coastal protection and storm water drainage improvements in the country.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr David T. Assumeng) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, and in doing so, to present the Report.
But with your permission, I would want to do some correction on page 14, Table 4 of the Report. There is a printer's devil there which I would want to correct.
Mr Speaker, the figures for Compensation should rather be
GH¢23,926,331.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Which part of page 14?
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, page 14, “Table 4 -- Summary of 2014 Allocation by Expenditure Item.” Under Compensation, I am amending the figure there to read GH¢23,
926,331.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Yes, that is the figure there.
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Are you amending it?
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is the new figure I am --
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
The figure under Compensation is GH¢23,926,331; that is what we have there.
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
So, what are you amending? What is the new figure?
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, under GoG, I have a different figure there, which is GH¢15,958,688 and that should rather read GH¢23,926,331 and the total would be the same.
Mr Speaker, under Goods and Services, the first column should read
GH¢2,495,783.
Under Assets, the figure should be GH¢63,296,731. The total there would be GH¢89,718,845. That is the first column.
Under IGF, which is the second column, under Goods and Services, the figure there should be GH¢4,794,942. Under Assets, it should be GH¢1,228,178 and the total there would add up to
GH¢6,023,120.
The third column under Donor - I have under Goods and Services ,GH¢87,129,412. Under Assets, it should be GH¢348, 517,646. The total there would therefore be GH¢435,647,058.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, we would want to follow what the Chairman is doing. Where is he picking those figures from? I guess he is dealing with the first Table as appears on page 14 --
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
What is the total figure?
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it remains unchanged, which is GH¢531,389,023. The total remains the same as per the Budget -- [Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister for Finance could please pay attention. He has just introduced some changes and we ought to know where he is picking the numbers from, so that -- [Interruption] -- No, I am not talking about the Report. Which page in the Budget is he picking them from, so that we can follow him?
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, these are allocations in the Budget -- [Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Which page?
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, page 212.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Chairman, proceed.
Mr Assumeng 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
rose
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
N; ,Hon Member for Old Tafo, if you have some information which would contradict his, tell the House.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my object is not to contradict --
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
No! The Minister for Finance is there; he is not objecting to the new figures.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he was not paying attention, that is why --
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
No! Why do you make that statement?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
He was talking to the Hon Chairman.
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
No! The Finance Minister is there, he is not complaining; the Chairman and the Committee members are also not complaining. If you have a problem, tell us.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he was talking to the Chairman and he did not even know what he was doing. But the Chairman himself-- That is why I wanted him to --
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Finance Minister, is it true that you were not listening?
Mr Seth E. Terkpeh Mr Speaker, as you can see, we had the page with the Hon Chairman looking at it intensely. So, what we were discussing was on the estimates.
Dr Kunbuor 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as we went through the Report, I was wondering where the current figures came from. This is because we could not reconcile them with what we had. That is why I had to draw their attention to make the amendments as quickly as possible. This is because a number of these figures here are completely strange figures and I guess that this might be an old template on which they forgot to change the figures.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the mistake really stems from the Committee itself --
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
But why is it that the Committee did not detect these figures?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, for 2014, they have repeated the figures for 2013; so, he only had to draw the attention, that it is a mistake that the 2013 has been repeated. But these are the new figures for 2014 as captured on page 212 of the Budget.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Yes, Hon Chairman, please, proceed.
Mr Assumeng 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the fiscal year
ending 31st December, 2014 was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 in fulfilment of article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
In accordance with Order 140(4) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, Mr Speaker referred the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to the Committee on Works and Housing for consideration and report.
Subsequently, the Committee met on Wednesday, 4 th December, 2013 and considered the referral. The Hon. Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, his deputy, Hon Vincent Opong-Asamoah, officials of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and the Ministry of Finance attended the Committee's sitting to provide clarifications on the estimates.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his team and officials of the Ministry of Water Rewources, Works and Housing for their assistance during its deliberations.
Reference documents
The Committee made reference to the following documents during its deliberations:
a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
b. The Standing Orders of the House.
c. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2013 Financial Year.
d. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2014 Financial Year.
e. Report of the Committee on Works and Housing on the 2013 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
Mr Assumeng 12:30 p.m.
Table 1 depicts that the 2013 allocation for employee compensation has been overrun by over 31 per cent as of November ending. This presupposes that the overrun will be higher by the end of the financial year. Officials of the Ministry informed the Committee that unrealistic budget ceiling of the Ministry of Finance was the main reason for the over- expenditure on employee compensation.
For goods and services, an amount of GH¢6,248,270.00 was allocated to the Ministry. Alarmingly, as of November ending, only GH¢282,946.84 representing 3.81 per cent of the goods and services vote had been released to the Ministry.

The 2013 GoG budget allocation and ABFA approved by the House for assets was GH¢97,321,338.00. As of November ending, an amount of GH¢92,136,838.36 representing 94.67 per cent of the total allocation was released to the Ministry.

For 2013, the Ministry's total projection for Internally Generated Fund (IGF) was GH¢13,893,878.44. As of October ending, an amount of GH¢6,199,633.31 had been generated from contractors' registration fees, rent of government bungalows and flats and rent on UNDP blocks of flats. The breakdown of funds generated by the Ministry as of October ending is indicated in Table 2.

Notwithstanding the above, the Ministry achieved the following in 2013:

Water and Sanitation Management Programme

In its quest to achieve a target of 68 per cent coverage of access to safe, adequate and affordable water, the Ministry and its responsible agencies

successfully pursued the undermentioned pro-grammes among others:

a. The Ministry adopted the Riparian Buffer Policy as a Strategic Action Plan for improvement in the utilisation and management of the country's water resources. This policy is aimed at the development and maintenance of bands of natural

or planted vegetation along banks of some degraded water bodies for conservation and preservation.

b. The National Water Policy was also reviewed to incorporate current trends in the water and sanitation sector. Co-operation was esta- blished with external agencies to help incorporate rain water harvesting schemes as part of the national building codes.

c. An operational flood forecasting and early warning system for the White Volta from its border with Burkina Faso to the Volta Lake was developed in order to minimise the impact of floods in the northern part of the country.

Urban Water Management Programme

In the year under review, some projects were pursued by the Ghana Water Company Limited to raise the percentage of urban dwellers who have access to safe, adequate and affordable water from 63 per cent in 2012 to 70 per cent in 2013. These are:

a. Rehabilitation and expansion of the Barekese water treatment plant to add 6 million gallons a day (MGD) to current production of 24

MGD.

b. Rehabilitation and expansion of the South Kpong ATMA Rural Treatment Plant to add 9 MGD to the existing 6.16 MGD.

c. Works on the 3.16 MGD Essakyir Water Supply Project.

d. Rehabilitation and expansion of the water treatment plant at Mampong in Ashanti to add 1.05 MGD to the existing production of 0.55 MGD.

e. Construction of 5 water treatment plants to produce a total of 1.5 MGD to serve the following towns: Osenase, Kibi, Anyinam, Apedwa and Kwabeng.

Rural Water Management Programme

The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) completed the Peri- Urban, Rural and Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project which was aimed at improving access to sustainable water and sanitation services for 300,000 people in all the 22 districts of the Brong Ahafo Region. The project delivered 17 small town piped schemes, 670 boreholes fitted with hand pumps and 20 hand -dug wells.

Under the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project which is targeted to improve access to water and sanitation for 600,000 people in 66 districts in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Central and Western Regions, 900 boreholes were drilled awaiting the installation of hand pumps. Contracts for the supply of 1,200 hand pumps for installation on boreholes have been signed. In addition, contracts for the rehabilitation of 400 boreholes in the Northern Region were also signed.

Human Settlement and Development Programme

The Ministry continued its implemen- tation of the National Housing Policy to reduce the housing deficit by creating the enabling environment for private sector participation to deliver affordable housing units as well as improve mortgage affordability in the country.

Under the Government's National Housing Scheme, an agreement for the construction of 5,000 affordable housing units for public and civil servants and the Security Service at Saglemi, in the

SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE

6 - 12.25 P.M.

Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region and other parts of the country was signed between the Government of Ghana and Construtora OAS of Brazil. The project is expected to commence in 2014.

In an effort to increase residential facilities for staff of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), 72 two-bedroom residential units were completed while 96 units are at various stages of completion. Works on the second phase of the BNI housing project will commence in 2014.

The Cocoa Farmers Housing Project targeted the construction of 17 three- bedroom houses to provide access to affordable shelter for cocoa farmers in the cocoa growing communities. The Department of Rural Housing commenced the construction of 8 out of the 17 planned for the Western Region. It is expected that works on all the 17 would be completed by end of 2014.

Infrastructure Management Programme

Various storm water concrete drainage systems were constructed at Sakaman, Nima, Goaso, Salaga, Sakumono-Lashibi and Bolgatanga by the Hydrological Services Department to reduce perennial flooding and to safeguard life and property. The Department also continued with the routine maintenance of the lower and upper sections of the Korle Lagoon and Odaw stream under the Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Drainage Alleviation Project.

The Department also completed protective works on the 500metre and 1,000metre stretch of armour rock revetment at Ngyiresia and Sakumono Coastlines respectively. The construction of 500 metres of armour rock groyne at Atorkor-Dzita-Anyanui and 4 armour rock

groynes to protect 3,000 metres of Ada coastlines were also completed.

Outlook for 2014

In the year 2014, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing will pursue the following:

Water and Sanitation Management Programme

The Ministry would complete the review of the national water policy and incorporate rain water harvesting schemes into the national building codes to promote rainwater harvesting as a supplement to water service delivery.

The Water Resources Commission will enhance trans-boundary co-operation through ratification of UN Watercourses Convention as well as development of protocols between Ghana and la Cote d'Ivoire for the management of the Tano and Bia river basins.

Urban Water Management Programme

Under the Urban Water Management Programme, the Ghana Water Company Limited will continue to:

Rehabilitate and expand 20 water supply systems in the Volta, Western, Eastern, Central, Ashanti, Northern and Upper West Regions; and rehabilitate and construct the phase 1 of a 1.6-million gallons/day water treatment plant under the Nsawam Water Project.

Complete the rehabilitation and construction of 3.3 MGD water treatment plant under the Kpong Intake Expansion project; the construction of a 13.2 MGD desalinated water plant under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project at Teshie-Nungua; and the construction of the 40 MGD water treatment plant under the Kpong Water Supply and Expansion Project.
SPACE FOR TABLES - FULL 12:30 p.m.

Mr Justice J. Appiah (NPP -- Ablekuma North) 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion moved for the approval of the sum of GH¢531,389,23.
Mr Justice J. Appiah (NPP -- Ablekuma North) 12:35 p.m.


Mr Speaker, may I crave your indulgence to read from page 8, Rural Water Management Programme.

“The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) completed the Peri-Urban, Rural and Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project which was aimed at improving access to sustainable water and sanitation services for 300,000 people in all the 22 districts of the Brong Ahafo Region. The project delivered 17 small town piped schemes, 670 boreholes fitted with hand pumps and 20 hand-dug wells.”

Mr Speaker, under the Government's 20,000 boreholes project, only 536 out of 1,111 lots have been drilled and fitted with hand pumps and the rest are expected to be completed in 2014.

We need water. Water is life. Despite the abundance of so many water bodies in this country, Ghanaians are very thirsty. If these borehole projects are implemented successfully, they will help to alleviate the plight of young men and women who have to travel several kilometres to look for water without success.

Mr Speaker, may I shift to the Akim Oda Project -- “Complete the rehabilitation and expansion works on the Akim Oda, Akwatia (4.18 MGD) and Winneba Water Supply Project; the construction and rehabilitation of 8.47 MGD ter treatment plant under the 3k Water Supply Project; and the construction of a 3.3 MGD water treatment plant under the Wa Water and Supply Expansion Project.”

Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation and expansion works, in respect of Akim Oda, Akwatia and Winneba Water Supply have been too slow and I sniff a good deal of

political maneuvers in these projects. The Committee should go to the field and ascertain facts as they emerge at the various sites.
Mr Speaker, may I also crave your indulgence to read from page 11 12:35 p.m.
“Rehabilitate and expand 20 water supply systems in the Volta, Western, Eastern, Central, Ashanti, Northern and Upper West Regions; and rehabilitate and construct the phase 1 of a 1.6 million gallons-day water treatment plant under the Nsawam Water Project.”
Mr Speaker, the Esakyir Water Treatment which falls under the Central Region needs additional €3 million to improve and extend the distribution of water to the communities. As I am on my feet now, the request has not seen the light of day, to improve the distribution network. The Hon Minister is here -- he should be invited to this House to explain when the request will see the light of day.
May I also crave your indulgence to read from the Budget Statement, page 561:
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up.
An Hon Member 12:35 p.m.
He is a Ranking Member.
Mr First Deputy Speakr 12:35 p.m.
I know he is an Hon Ranking Member.
Mr J. J. Appiah 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, “The State Housing Company Limited completed 72 flats at Borteman. The Ministry is collaborating with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to fund and complete the remaining houses at Borteman”.
Mr Speaker, the previous Admini- stration of NPP were able to construct 5,000 affordable houses, which were nearly, 70 per cent complete.
Mr Speaker, in spite of the oil revenue which the previous Administration could not be favoured with,with all the numerous loans contracted, and with all the donor grants, with all the eurobond money, with all the CDB loan disbursed, and with all the tax hikes, the Mahama Administration could not even meet the over 1.8 million housing deficit and as a result, most Ghanaians have made the railway stations, bus stops, market places, and fronts of shops their sleeping places. Mr Speaker, the “Better Ghana” political slogan has --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Please, resume your seat. Somebody is up on a point of order.
Mr Enock T. Mensah 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading this House. The NPP Government did not finish with the 5,000 affordable houses. It is 4,726 and they were at different stages of completion. They set out to do that towards the twilight of their administration. So, it is not correct to say that they were 5,000. No! 4,726 which were not completed --
Mr J. J. Appiah 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, 4,726 is almost 5,000. So, it is only 72 flats that have been completed by this Adminis- tration.
Mr Speaker, with all the donor grants, with all the eurobond money, with all the CDB loans disbursed and with all the high tax hikes, the Mahama Administration could not meet the over 1.8 housing deficit. It is as a result of this that most Ghanaians --
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Please, your time is up.
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West) 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion and urge my Hon Colleagues to support it the Motion for the approval of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing's budget for 2014.
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Members, let us have some order.
Order! Order!
Mr Bedzrah 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is our expectation that there should rather have been an increment in the provision of this basic needs. I would want to ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing whether with this meagre allocation, which is not even up to the amount that was approved for 2013, he would be able to fulfil all the obligations of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing in 2014.
Mr Speaker, the other issue is about the donor funding project that we have under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. This year, when we were approving the 2014 Budget,we agreed that the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing will account to the Committee how these moneys have been utilised.
We only got to know that the moneys were paid by the Ministry of Finance without being posted through the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. We would want to appeal to the two Ministries, that is, the Ministry
Mr Bedzrah 12:35 p.m.


of Finance and the Ministry or Water Resources, Works and Housing to collaborate, so that Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing will supervise and make sure that every payment that is made on donor funding, will come --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member are you up on a point of order?
Ms Rosemond C. Abrah 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is a point of correction.
When he started, I heard him say; “Maslaws” basic needs but the word is “Maslow” and the way he enumerated them too is not correct. For our records, he must come again.
Mr Bedzrah 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is the former District Director for Education for you.
I thank the Hon Member very well. It is “Maslow”.
Mr Speaker, the other issue I would want to bring across is the maintenance culture of our society. In the Report, the Committee noted that most of the Government's bungalows have not been renovated for some time now. But we have also been told that rent has been collected from the occupants of those houses.
We would want to find out from the Controller and Accountant-General's Department how come they have collected all these rents but they have not given them to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, to be able to renovate these houses? In fact, we know that in this country, the maintenance culture is something that we need to work on.
I would want to appeal to the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing to make sure that the moneys that have been deducted from occupants' salaries should be given to them to renovate those houses.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to commend the Hydrological Department under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. They have been doing very fantastic work of late. There have been rains this season, but we have not heard of any outflow or water taking people away --
Mr Bedzrah 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that alone tells you that they are doing very well and thumbs up for them.
Finally, Mr Speaker, the human settlement. When you look at the budget, there was not enough funding for housing projects. I would want to appeal that the Ministry should drive as the Hon Minister has told us that they are going to make sure that we get public private partnership (PPP) on the delivery of housing. They should do that and make sure that more houses are constructed to get the deficit of housing in Ghana corrected.
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
We will take two more from this side.
Mr Kwaku Asante-Boateng (NPP -- Asante Akim South) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity, as it were, to contribute to the Motion on the floor for the approval of an amount of GH¢131,389,023 for the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
Mr Speaker, my other Colleague did mention that in terms of the internally generated funds, there was a shortfall in rent collection from the bungalows that some of the public service workers are occupying. Mr Speaker, we know that these bungalows -- the sector Ministry knows the number of these bungalows and the rents are being deducted at source. At the end of the day, therefore,
we expect that based on their projection of GH¢10 million, those moneys would be deducted and sent to the sector Ministry. But what we saw was that only an amount of GH¢4 million of the GH¢10 million was received, and it is based on the amount that the sector Ministry would receive, that a percentage is allocated to the Public Works Department (PWD) for the renovation of these houses.
So, Mr Speaker, we realised that somebody at the sector Ministry is not doing his work well and by so doing, we are depriving the PWD under the sector Ministry of renovating these houses. We realised also that if this situation continues, it would degenerate into a situation where all our bungalows would run down.
I do not know, but it appears that for over a period now, maybe, some of the bungalows, over ten years, they have not been renovated. We would like to know whether all of them are earmarked for demolition. It is a worry to us as a Committee and the sector Minister should make sure that in next year's Budget, we do not find this again.
Mr Speaker, in terms of the provision of adequate and sustainable water supply to the people of Ghana, what we realise is that some of the developmental processes that we are currently undertaking do not actually synchronise with our population growth. Mr Speaker, I will give one example. When you look at the provision under the budget, we are saying that they are going to rehabilitate and expand works for Akim Oda and Akwatia Water Projects to produce 4.18 million gallons a day.
Mr Speaker, we are going to spend this huge sum in rehabilitating and expanding the works, but when you look at our population census for 2010, you would
realise that the Birim Municipality has a population of 144,869 and that of Akwatia has 192,562, both adding up to 337,431. Mr Speaker, all things being equal, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has given the minimum water requirement for every individual -- That statistics was undertaken in 2000 -- o f 20 litres per capita per day for every single individual. The Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, United Kingdom (UK) has given their figure as 135 litres per capita per day for every human being.
Mr Speaker, taking this, we realise that with the total population of 337,431 for Akim Oda and Akwatia, with the minimum requirement -- I would not even take the 135 litres per day; I will take the 20 litres minimum that the WHO has set up, and if you actually interpret it, you would realise that even as of now, that we are undertaking this project, we have a deficit of 2,568,620 litres of water being the deficit for these two communities.
We know that our population is growing at a geometrical rate and if we are going to undertake this project now -- For every project that we are taking, for it to be sustainable, we should look into the future and say ten, fifteen years before we go back and add on. But if we are undertaking this now and even it is not up to the requirement that the people of Akwatia and Akim Oda would need, then where are we getting to?
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that if we are drawing our budget, it must be brought to bear on the population census. It is not for nothing that we undertake censuses, such that whatever develop- ment that we are undertaking, would be sustainable for the future generation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up.
Mr Asante-Boateng 12:55 p.m.
Even though we have been told that it is the Ministry of Finance, that normally pays the certificate we should also not forget that before those certificates are paid, it is the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing that does the vetting of these certificates, so, they cannot tell us that they do not know the figures.
They should tabulate the figures for us to know, that this certificate one, two, three, has been passed on to the Ministry
of Finance; they cannot tell us that they do not know the figures because the Ministry of Finance has been paying. Mr Speaker, I would want to entreat the House and the sector Minister that next year, when they are coming, they should come with an explanation how much has been spent on each project -- what percentage of the amount that we approved has been spent on each project, so that there will be transparency.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add these few words and I support the Motion for the approval of the Budget.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you very much; yes, Hon Quashigah.
Mr Richard M. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta) 12:55 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support the Motion that seeks the approval of the sum of GH¢531,389,023 for the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, as was mentioned earlier by one Hon Member, water is set with life and indeed, water is life. Without water, obviously, we all will not be here. The reason for which it is incumbent on Government to do all it can as it were to get potable and adequate water to the nook and crany of our country, such that our people can lead decent life and not struggle for potable water.
It is also very refreshing that during the preceding year, the Ministry undertook various projects that obviously got water to various communities in the country. Again, as was mentioned earlier by the Ranking Member of the Committee, it is disheartening that the amount of money that was allocated to the Ministry
has seen a reduction this time round. What that means is that, a lot of the projections that the Ministry has intended, may not effectively be achieved.
Mr Speaker, I would want to indicate that the outlook for the 2014 programme for the Ministry is obviously refreshing and encouraging. But let me also register as was registered by my Hon Colleague on the other side of the House, that there are some communities that are having acute challenges with water. Indeed, the people of Anyako, Seva and Konu in the Keta Municipality, for the past seven years, have been struggling for potable water.
It is an issue that ought to be resolved and the expectation is that the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing will in the scheme of things, take care of the acute water challenge that the people of Anyako, Konu and Seva are facing in the Keta Municipality.
Nana Amaniampong Marfo 12:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I would want to crave your indulgence and give my Hon Member, on the other side of the House, a simple question, that for all these five years, this “Better Ghana --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, is it on a point of order? You are not here to ask questions.
Nana Marfo 12:55 p.m.
Yes. For the five years we have been subjected to this torture, yet he is proclaiming that Ghana is on the seventh heaven. Is he telling us that the people in his community have nothing like basic water and everyday they bombard us with “Better Ghana Agenda”?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, you are out of order.
Hon Member, please, proceed and begin to wind up.
Mr Quashigah 12:55 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
I prefer to ignore the comments from the Hon Colleague from the other side of the House.
Mr Speaker, the fact is that much as efforts are being made to meet the expectations of the people of Ghana, you cannot, as it were, meet it 100 per cent. Obviously, the aspects of our society that have not been captured include Anyako, Seva and Konu and it is refreshing that the Ministry is taking the necessary steps to factor them into its programme to ensure that this year round, the people of Anyako, Konu and Seva will smile. Let me reiterate that the gesture --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Please, conclude.
Mr Quashigah 12:55 p.m.
The gesture of the Minister is refreshing and the people of these communities can have a good Christmas.
With these words, I support the Motion.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you.
Can we have the Hon Member for Yendi?
Alhaji Habibu T. Mohammad (NPP -- Yendi) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and to call for approval for amount of GH¢531,389,023 for the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Members, we could go on and on but there is a lot of work to be done.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader --
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you would grant me just a little space to also lend my voice to the Motion in respect of the allocation to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
First, Mr Speaker, I wish to recognise that as some Hon Members who spoke before me have affirmed, last year's allocation to the Ministry was GH¦¢598, 902,647. Mr Speaker, this year's allocation is supposed to be GH¢531,389,023.
Mr Speaker, if we factored in inflation and the depreciation of the cedi over this one year -- inflation around 13.2 per cent and the depreciation of the cedi, as I read in a newspaper publication today, hovering around 19 to 20 per cent, then
the least we could have given to the Ministry, Mr Speaker, could have been in the region of eight hundred million cedis. That would have allowed us to do the things that we are doing in 2013. As it is now, GH¢531,389,023, Mr Speaker, it is a climb down from last year's allocation by almost 50 per cent, if one factors in the inflation and the depreciation of the cedi.
So, where are we? Are we going forward as a nation or we are taking a few steps backwards?
Scaringly, Mr Speaker, last year 's allocation, which is supposed to be GH¢598 million, as of September this year, only GH¢104.4 million had been released, representing just 17 per cent of releases. Mr Speaker, what is this? Why do we waste our time to approve of budgets and allocations, if at the end of the day, we are only going to release 17 per cent to the Ministry?
rose
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
Eighteen point nine per cent released. So, what is the work of Parliament perusing these documents and approving of allocations if the Ministry of Finance would just release 18.9 per cent in eleven months of the fiscal year?
Mr Speaker, we know of challenges that they are facing at the Ministry --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister, I thought I would give you the opportunity after he had finished with his submission?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have been told of challenges in revenue mobilisation but even that, the Hon Minister is not telling us that in the course of the year, they have received just 20 per cent of revenue that they were expecting to trickle.
He cannot be right; there have been some revenue shortfalls but it is not down to 20 per cent for him to make allocation and then release 18.9 per cent of the approved budget -- approved allocation 11 months on to a Ministry. What are we doing? Are we helping to develop our country?
Mr Speaker, the Committee also ought to have interrogated the issues raised in the 2013 Budget and reported to us in order to help us firm up our minds in various areas. Mr Speaker, in 2013, the Ministry informed this House that they were going to increase coverage of urban water supply to 68 per cent.
So, the Committee ought to tell us what the status is, where have we got to? The Ministry indicated to us in 2013, that they were going to increase coverage of rural water supply to 70 per cent. What is the status today, as we speak? The Committee is silent on that.
Mr Speaker, in 2009, the Ministry indicated that they were going to drill 20,000 boreholes. Five years on, we are told that only 1,115 have been drilled thus far and 536 have been fitted with hand pumps. Mr Speaker, what are we doing? So, what happened to the allocation five years ago, to drill the 20,000 boreholes?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry also tells us that last year, they were going to help reduce the housing deficit by providing the environment to provide affordable houses. Mr Speaker, how many affordable houses did the Ministry facilitate? How many of them? The Committee should be interrogating these matters and be reporting to us. Again, there is nothing. No such indication.
rose
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
Are you talking about the 72 two-bed unit or --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, please, address the Chair.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister, is it a point of order?
Mr Ahi 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Minority Leader is doing very well but let me draw his attention to the urban water management programme.
The Committee captured that in the year under review, some projects were pursued by the Ghana Water Company Limited to raise the percentage of urban dwellers who have access to safe, adequate and affordable water from 63 per cent in 2012 to 70 per cent in 2013. Just to draw attention to that.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
MrSpeaker, that was the effort; that was the target, and that is why I am asking what the status is. Look at the Budget document, what does it say in paragraph 559?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, we are hard pressed for time.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is because he is challenging what I am saying, that I am drawing his attention to paragraph 559. Look at paragraph 559 of the Budget; what have they done? They are saying that they are targeting 70 per cent and I am asking, what is the status now? What is the status? If you are
Mr Ahi 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that the Report went ahead in page 8, it indicated activities that the Ministry undertook to achieve the percentage that has been mentioned, for instance, the rehabilitation of the Barekese water treatment plant to add 6 million gallons daily.
This has been completed. Rehabi- litation and expansion of the South Tongu Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area Rural Treatment Plant, to add 9 million gallons to the existing 6.16 million.”
I can go on and on; they have been mentioned. All these were achieved before September 30th.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
All right; thank you very much for the correction.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader --
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I drew the attention of the Hon Deputy Minister to what has been captured in the Budget. He should please, address it. The target is still 70 per cent. They are not there yet. That is why I said, yes, those projects have been done. Some of them are still rolling out. So, I ask that the Committee would tell us the real status. That was the issue that I raised.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Yes, Hon Chairman, are you up on a point of order?
Mr Assumeng 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would only want to remind my Hon Minority Leader that he is an Hon Member of the very Committee he is talking about -- [Laughter] -- So, since he is an Hon Member of the Committee, he should consider being part of the Report and also be part of the interrogation as he is requesting.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Chairman was going to contradict the issues that I was raising?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
No! Hon Minority Leader, he is just drawing your attention to the fact that you remain an Hon Member of the Committee.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
I do remain an Hon Member of the Committee.
Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am trying to seek clarification from either the Hon Members of the Committee or the Hon Chairman. You see paragraph 549 --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, the Hon Minority Leader has the floor unless -- Hon Member, we would be jumping the gun; let us allow the Hon Minority Leader to land and then we would know where we stand.
So, Hon Minority Leader, please, proceed.
Dr A. A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee says 70 per cent but the Budget says 68. They are two different numbers. He used 70; that is the problem.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, please, proceed.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Old Tafo is right, except that, the Budget, if one goes along, has made a disaggregation between rural water and urban water. So, if one looks at paragraph 553, it tells one the target for rural water, which is the 70 per cent. Right?
Urban water is supposed to be 68 per cent. The Committee said “70”.

Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: On a point of order.

Mr Speaker, I have just been notified that the Hon Minority Leader is an Hon Member of the Committee. I was expecting that these issues were issues that he could have raised at the Committee level for them to be resolved before coming to this House and delaying the process. Mr Speaker, I think these are issues that we should resolve at the Committee level.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, please, begin to wind up.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
I will.
But Mr Speaker, to inform my Hon Colleague, perhaps, he is not privy to what has become known as the Bagbin Theory in this House.
A Chairman of a committee could even submit a report and later on come to challenge the report in this House. Upon being availed of further information, even the Chairman could dissociate himself from the Committee's report.
So, please, he should take time; he would learn. Mr Speaker, even though the Chairman would be the person to submit the report, it would not be the Chairman's report, it would be the committee's report. So, Nii Lantey,should take time, he would get there.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, these questions could have been asked at the Committee level, in all sincerity. So, I would want you to wind up.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance is here.
Mr Speaker, finally, in paragraph 562, the issue about the Cocoa Farmers Housing Project, the target of 17 three- bedroom houses. With respect to the Ministry, this House, indeed, the State needs to demonstrate much more seriousness in addressing the issues relating to farmers. Seventeen houses being on the drawing board for so long a time and we are not getting anywhere?
Mr Speaker, I know the Hon Majority Leader is not a farmer. I can attest to that. -- [Laughter] -- But he rises, maybe, he wants to talk on behalf of the farmers.
Dr Kunbuor 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that the Ministry might indeed, be having challenges, but its seriousness, I guess it is serious.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, finally, as I indicated, the President, a few months ago, directed that the District Assemblies should get involved in the delivery of affordable houses in the country. Mr Speaker, we have just dealt with the budget of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, but we did not see this in their budget and I thought that we would see it in the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing's budget.
Mr Chireh 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to say that what the Hon Minority Leader is currently saying about the President's statement is misleading.
He knows that Metropolitan/ Municipal/District Assemblies generate resources particularly from sources like rent, property rates and others. In fact, if one looks at the three big cities, their own Assemblies can generate so much and invest in housing.
Secondly, the Assemblies that are in mining areas and get royalties, the moneys they get sometimes are more than the allocation we are talking about. So, these are all sources that the President is talking about, making sure that they should be re-directed to support this.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I did not know that the Hon Member for Wa West is seriously coveting your position as the Hon Deputy Speaker and he is issuing instructions from the plenary -- from his seat -- purporting to be the Speaker.
Mr Speaker, on a more serious note, Internally generated funds (IGFs) are factored into the Budget. I thought the Hon Gentleman knows that. Even IGFs are factored into the Budget.
Mr Speaker, may I ask him, how much IGFs are generated by his own District Assembly in order for them to be able to construct affordable houses? --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, please, address the Chair.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, these are serious matters and I would expect the Hon Minister responsible for Water Resources, Works and Housing and indeed, the Hon Minister for Finance -- if it may not be possible to prosecute that agenda this year, maybe, we are still in the preparatory stages, the Hon Minister could tell us. We need some assurances. Otherwise, when the President talks, it must be taken serious.
Increasingly, our budgets are becoming demand-driven and I think it was in response to such demands that the President made this directive and that directive should translate into the budget, especially now, when we are talking about

programme-based budget and not activity-based. And I thought I was looking for a window that would be opened to me for me to see where that thing has been captured.

Thus far Mr Speaker, no David Livingstone has indicated to me from his exploration, where that directive has been captured in the Budget. But I think it is a very serious and important matter that should be addressed by the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing and the Hon Minister responsible for Finance as well.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Minister for Finance, I want you to address the issue first and then I would go to the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkpeh 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would be very brief.
There have been several references in the course of discussing the Committee's budget to releases and shortfalls. I do not want to actually be intervening at every point in time, but the point keeps coming up all the time.
Mr Speaker, I would urge Hon Members of the House to take the Budget in context. We have indicated clearly that there were overruns in elements of the Budget, particularly with respect to the payment of wages and other elements of compensation and also on interest payments, which ordinarily are not allocated to the MDAs. Therefore, it is important that the attention to shortfalls is balanced with areas of overrun, which also benefit those MDAs because we are operating within an envelope.
Alhaji Collins Dauda 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, I thank you very much for the opportunity to wind up and to also thank my Colleagues for the interest they have shown in the sector, and also the sympathies extended to this Ministry by the Hon Minority Leader in terms of the allocations.
Mr Speaker, on the specific issues of political manoeuvering in the supply of water to Akwatia and Akim Oda as raised by a member of the Committee, I wish to say that, for us, water is something that we would not politicise. Everybody depends on water; water is life and therefore, we do not have any intention to politicise any water project sent to any place.
Indeed, that project covers Akim Oda and everybody in the House here knows traditionally that, Akim Oda is not an area for the ruling Government, yet we are sending water there -- [Interruption] --
Mr Speaker, to re-emphasise, this Government has no intention of playing politics with the supply of water to the people of this country.
Mr Speaker, in 2005, the then NPP Government set itself to provide affordable housing for the people of this country and indeed, initiated as many as 4,724 housing units to be completed before the term of office of that particular Government. Unfortunately, at the end of 2008, that project had not been completed.
Mr Speaker, an impression is being created that ever since, nothing has been done.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Member for Sekondi, is it on a point of order?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:25 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.The Hon Minister is misleading the House.
He said the NPP Adminis-tration undertook to complete a project before its term of office, which was 2008, that is three years; and he is talking five years after the NDC Government assumed office. He is now talking about steps they are initiating. The question is, five years after assuming office, has the Adminis-tration completed even one?
Dr Kunbuor 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think if I understood the Hon Minister, he is simply saying that if you go and give yourself a contract and an engagement for a length of time and you have not been able to finish it, does it really lie in your mouth to blame another person for not coming to finish it regardless of the time frame? That is the issue; that is the principle in what I understood the Minister to be saying.
So, you said you would finish something in two days, you have not finished it in two days and you are asking why is it taking another person who did not give himself that responsibility ten years in not finishing it. What type of logic is this?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I never thought that it was the Majority Leader who had given the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing a script to read, so, he understands it better
than what the Minister himself has stated. I never knew that. Then the Majority Leader should tell us, is he the one doing the presentation? He understands it better than the Minister himself?
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Members, I do not want us to drag this matter beyond a certain point. I would prefer --
Dr Kunbuor 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was just making a contribution because I am a Member of this House. I do not claim any expert knowledge in water resources and housing.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Minister, please, go ahead with your submission. But as much as possible, let us avoid these controversial areas.
Alhaji Collins Dauda 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I got to the point where I tried to mention some of the interventions that we have put in place to get the project completed. We have allocated five of the blocks -- at Bortman -- of 72 units to the State Housing Company and that have been completed. Mr Speaker, we have also allocated 72 units to the Ministry of Defence and that are also being worked on and would be completed.
Mr Speaker, the entire Kpong site of 500 units are also being worked on by the Tema Development Corporation (TDC). So, some efforts are being made to get their project completed -- the project of this country completed. Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Minister, I think the use of the word “their” is not sitting well with the Minority. They belong to Ghana.
Alhaji Dauda 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, our project -- [Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is true that the Ministry has initiated some steps as he is saying, and he tells us that they have completed -- for those allocations that were made to the BNI -- that they have completed 72 -- [Interruption.]
Alhaji Dauda 1:25 p.m.
I have not mentioned BNI; in my submission, I mentioned State Housing Company, not BNI.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the BNI is captured in the Budget -- [Interruption.]
Alhaji Dauda 1:25 p.m.
I have not said BNI -- [Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
The Budget captured BNI.
Alhaji Dauda 1:25 p.m.
The Hon Member is reading BNI from the Budget Statement, I have not said BNI.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, they are saying that they are allocating 72 units to them and that 72 units have been completed. And they go on to tell us that within the next three months, they would be able to complete 96 units; how is it going to be possible?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, as I have told you, please, address the Chair. At this stage, the Minister is winding up.
Hon Minister, can you go ahead?
Alhaji Dauda 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, they are two distinct issues. We have a project running for BNI and that is being handled by Messrs Amandi. This is an allocation to the Ministry of Defence for the Military. That is what I was alluding to and so, he should not get me wrong.
Mr Speaker, I take note of the other concerns raised by my Hon Colleagues and I thank them so much and assure them that we would work to make Ghana a better place.
I thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Members, I think we have had enough by way of contributions.
Dr A. A. Osei 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have to adopt the Report as the Chairman wants. If there is a factual error and we have seen it, we should correct it.
Mr Speaker, page 7, the 70 per cent is 68 per cent. Otherwise, we cannot adopt the Report.
So, I invite the Chairman to make the amendment, so that at least, the Report would be captured properly, and it becomes consistent with the Budget Statement.
Mr First Dputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Chairman, how do you respond to that?
Mr Assumeng 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as corrected.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
The amendment has been effective.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢531,389,023 for the services of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we can take item number 9, which has been out- standing for some time now.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 1:35 p.m.

STAGE 1:35 p.m.

  • [Resumption of debate from 2/12/ 2013.]
  • Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would start from clause 3. The last time it was stood down. We have met and settled it. The amendment, which was proposed -- (b) “0.2 per cent of the net proceeds from fees charged by Destination Inspection Companies”-- We are dropping that one. The old rendition would still stand. So, I am applying for leave to withdraw it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Leave granted.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the amendment and to move, that clause 3 as in the original rendition be maintained.
    Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I beg to read 1:35 p.m.
    “The moneys of the Fund consist of
    -- 1:35 p.m.

    Dr A. A. Osei 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, while I have an objection to that, there is another issue that was discussed, but I see that we are not addressing it. The issue of divestiture, you promised to address it but you are not addressing it, if you can tell us why.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I had attempted to draw a distinction between proceeds from divestiture as in getting rid of State assets and 2 per cent of Destination Inspection fees. With divestiture, history has proved that it has not contributed significantly to this particular Fund and I am not even sure in the foreseeable future there are any more substantial State assets that Government may be proceeding on.
    But be as it may, we still can maintain the original rendition. If there are one or two sales, we still can let this Fund benefit from it for the purpose of supporting the private sector.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    In that case, I will put the Question with regard to the original clause 3.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 3 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 11 -- Establishment of committees
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 11, add the following new subclauses after subclause (3):
    “(4) A Committee established under subsection (2) shall perform the functions assigned by the Board.
    Then (5), which was --
    “A Committee established under subsection 2 may determine the procedure for its meetings.”
    We are also applying for it to be dropped. This is because the procedures are already known and the Interpretation Act takes care of that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Do I understand you to be saying that you are withdrawing the proposed amendment with regard to 5?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    It is so, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    So, leave is granted. But then you maintain the amendment proposed with regard to 4?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    With a small amend- ment to delete “to it” after “assign”.
    So, instead of “A committee established under subsection (2) shall perform the functions assigned to it by the Board” we are saying that “assigned by the Board”.
    Mr William Ofori Boafo 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the proposed amendment and withdrawal by the Chairman of the Committee.
    With regard to the withdrawal, there is a provision in section 24, subsection 1, paragraph 4 of the Interpretation Act, which says that
    “where an enactment contains or is establishing or providing for the establishment of a body corporate the words operate to vest in that body corporate when established”
    -- sub paragraph 4,
    “the right to regulate its own procedure and business.”
    Mr Speaker, it has taken care of this enactment.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 11 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 24 -- Equity Finance Account
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 24, subclause (1), line 2, delete “scheme” and insert “schemes”.
    Mr Speaker, so, the rendition now becomes 1:35 p.m.
    “The moneys assigned to the Equity Finance Account shall be disbursed through government aided equity financing schemes and private equity Fund Managers.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 24 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 25 -- Management of the Equity Finance Account
    Mr Boafo 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment stands in my name
    Mr Speaker, I have reviewed the amendment. Initially, I thought one could extend the provisions of the Constitution -- [Interruption.] I believe I have every right to explain why I am withdrawing it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Rightly so. Please, go ahead. Do not be intimidated.
    Mr Boafo 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not intimidated at all.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:35 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, you can ask him to explain, but according to our Standing Orders, he needs not explain. It is almost two o'clock, so, I thought that once he was withdrawing, he could withdraw it and keep his excuses to himself.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, you are right, but I still want him to explain, so --
    Mr Boafo 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, “he needs not explain” does not necessarily mean that you cannot explain. There is a difference between that.
    Mr Speaker, I thought one could extend the provisions of the Constitution regarding loan approvals to the investment. But on second reflection, I found a provision in the Financial Administration Act covering that
    situation: That is under section 24 of the Financial Administration Act, 2003, which deals with equity investment of the Consolidated Fund.
    There is a provision under that part, which requires the Hon Minister for Finance when presenting his annual budget to indicate which investments he intends to make from the Consolidated Fund. I believe that this is a Fund and it is part of the public funds.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    We understand and we appreciate it. So, you want leave to withdraw --
    Mr Boafo 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am withdrawing clause 25.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    The proposed amendment is accordingly withdrawn.
    Amendment withdrawn by leave of the House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, the reason I gave him that latitude is the fact that, now, under the Interpretations Act, the proceedings that we are carrying out now constitute part of the interpretation of these laws when it comes to the court; that is why it was granted.
    So, in that case, Hon Members, do I put the Question with regard to the original clause 25 - There are other amendments to clause 25.
    Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Boafo 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is the same, thing and that one too, standing in my name, would be dropped.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 25, subclause (1), line 4, at end, add “with the approval of the Minister responsible for Finance”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Can you explain to us the rationale behind it?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the word “agriculture”, and before “agro- processing”, we have to bring in “reprocessing”. It is a repetition and we are trying to cure that defect. That is why it is just “reprocessing”, we should not repeat “agro-processing”. We are saying that there is already “agro-processing” so, we should have “reprocessing”.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am opposed to this amendment as being completely unwarranted.
    Mr Speaker, we have nothing like “agro-reprocessing”. He is saying that after “agro-processing” you add “agro- reprocessing”, [Interruption.] It is:
    “delete “agriculture and” after “agro-processing” and insert “and reprocessing”.
    So, he is adding “re-processing” after “agro-processing” and I am saying that there is nothing like “agro-reprocessing”. There is nothing like that. Agro- processing is agro-processing; so what does “re-processing” mean?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, how do you respond to that?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, related to agriculture and agro-processing, now, he is saying that “and agro- reprocessing”. That is what he said.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh, you were up. Do you have some contribution to make?
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that the “agro- processing” cannot be different from “re- processing”. I do not know what the meaning of “re-processing” is. This is because if it is related to “agro-
    Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, during the deliberations at the Committee, I do not know whether the Table Office got it wrong. I believe what the Chairman wanted to do -- if you read it, was to remove “agriculture related to agriculture” and just keep it at “export oriented manufacturing activity” and “agro- processing”. That was what he wanted to bring in, because we wanted a situation where it was for agriculture manufacturing or activities related to it -- agriculture industry and so, the issue was to delete all that it says. If you read it, there was a missing link. It says and I beg to quote:
    “The moneys disbursed from the Equity Finance Account shall be applied for the placement of equity in a company engaged in export trade, export oriented manufac- turing activity, agriculture related to agriculture and agro-processing”.
    So, we wanted to remove “agriculture related to agriculture” because it did not make sense if you read it.
    So, it was to delete “agriculture related to agriculture” and just have it at “agro processing”. That was what we wanted to do and I think the --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Chairman, are you in agreement?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is right. We agreed on that but during the typing, there was a mistake. If you go to the Bill itself, clause 25(2), it says that and I beg to quote:
    “The moneys disbursed from the Equity Finance Account shall be applied for the placement of equity in a company engaged in export trade, export oriented manufac- turing activity, agriculture related to agriculture…”
    That was what we wanted to take off -- “agriculture related to agriculture”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    So, now we understand. You are curing that defect.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:35 p.m.
    So, it is either one of the “agriculture” goes off, so that it will read “agriculture related to agro- processing”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    So, this is the amendment you are proposing?
    Mr Chireh 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman is further confusing us.
    The Member for Abuakwa-North explained that we should remove that whole issue of “agriculture related to agriculture” and “agro-processing is indicative enough of what kind of processing” we are talking about. So, you cannot talk about “agriculture related to agro-processing”.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am proposing that we delete “agriculture related to agriculture” so that it will read:
    “The moneys disbursed from the Equity Finance Account shall be applied for the placement for equity in a company engaged in export trade, export oriented manufacturing activity and agro-processing.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    All right. Are we in agreement or not?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to state that, seriously, I was not with him because I was sharing a few thoughts with the Hon Minister.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:55 p.m.
    All right. I will yield to Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am proposing that the Hon Chairman moves to delete the words “agriculture related to agriculture” in lines 3 and 4. That is all; so that it will be “manufacturing activity and agro-processing”.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I seek your leave to move as indicated by Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the proposal, which has been ably formulated by the Hon Member for Sekondi but advanced by the Hon Member for Abuakwa-North makes a lot of sense. The issue that I would want to clear with the Chairman, since he has used the word “re-processing” --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    The “re- processing” has been abandoned.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am asking because you could import some material and reprocess; it may not really relate only to agriculture. Is that the consideration of the Committee? If he meant only “agro-reprocessing”, then it has no place: but if it relates to other areas like one could import and reprocess-- example will be the case of pharmaceuticals; you import and reprocess and maybe, even bag it like encapsulating it. You are reprocessing it. Mr Speaker. That is why I am seeking --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Members, having regard to the proceedings and the time, I wish to direct that we Sit beyond the stipulated time for about 20 minutes, nothing more than that.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I am seeking clearance from the Chair; if really the intendment relates to that leg, then we should be careful. If it relates to “agro-processing”, we are talking about reprocessing of agricultural products. It has no place but if it relates to other areas, we should be careful about that construction. That is why I was seeking -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi and then Abuakwa North.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at the memorandum, the first paragraph, it says and I beg to quote:
    “To expand the scope of application of the resources of the Fund to include the development and promotion of agriculture related to the agro-processing industry”.
    Then you come to the second paragraph:
    “This is against a backdrop of inadequate funding requirements of companies, institutions and groups engaged in the development and promotions in the exports in agriculture and the related agro- processing industry and small and medium-term scale enterprises”.
    So, really, it has nothing to do with pharmaceuticals, et cetera. So, it is agro- processing which will be in conformity with the memorandum of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Danquah, then Hon Minister, Hon Chief Whip and Hon Yieleh Chireh.
    Mr Danquah 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe it is self-explanatory. Even if it is under agriculture reprocess, you have imported fruits and whatever, it is still a manufacturing activity and it is export oriented manufacturing activity. So, we do not need to belabour the reprocess at all.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that we are improving the thrust of the Bill. If you would recall, in 2011, there was an amendment to the EDIF Act, which was Act 823 and just to quote from its Long Title, so that we are guided. It says:
    “An Act to amend the Export Development and Investment Fund Act 2000 (Act 582) to provide financial resources for the development and promotion of agriculture relating to agro- processing and agro-processing industry.”
    That is the particular issue that Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah raised. We do not want to narrow this Fund just to support agriculture but agro-processing associated with the agricultural industry. So, you may wish to put the Question on the rendition as was suggested by the Hon Member.
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my worry is, if we take the amendment as proposed by the Hon Member for Sekondi, Papa Owusu- Ankomah, what it will mean is that, when it comes to the management of the Equity Finance Account, agricultural related activities will not qualify. It will only be agro-processing. There are distinctions.
    Mr Speaker, for example, if you are exporting pineapple, that is not agro-
    processing, that is agriculture related. But when you are turning the pineapples into pineapple juice and exporting, that is agro- processing. So, this clause, I would want to believe the intent is to also affect agriculture-related activities, not only agro-processing. So, if you take the whole of the “agriculture related to agriculture” out, you will be cutting that activity out. So, I would rather suggest that it should be:
    “manufacturing activity, agriculture and agro-processing”
    So that you would have captured the whole length. I believe the construction is not perfect. But if you take the whole of that out and leave only “agro- processing”, you would have been leaving some segment of the activity out and I think that we need to advert our minds to it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    I think that is a very important point that you have raised. We need to take cognisance of that. Before I come to Hon Minority Leader, let me hear from Hon Yieleh Chireh.
    Mr Chireh 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want the Chairman to agree for a further amendment to say that:
    “The moneys disbursed from the Equity Finance Account shall be applied for the placement of equity in a company engaged in export trade, export oriented manufac- turing activity, agriculture and agro- processing”.
    The “related to agriculture” should be deleted.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying so because we amended the original EDIF law to include agriculture. So, it is a major thing. Now -- and are also talking about agro-processing, if you do not support the agricultural activity from the planting
    up to the time that the fruits can be processed, then of course, you would be defeating the whole process of this Bill. I believe that we should maintain the “agricultural” there which is more general in terms of what it would be doing.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    It appears as if you are in consensus ad idem with the Hon Majority Chief Whip.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we agree to the amendments as proposed in clause 25(2), then we have to go back to clause 2; what is the construction there? Clause 2(1)
    The Object of the Fund --
    “The object of the Fund is to provide financial resources for the development and promotion of export trade, agriculture related to agro-processing. . .”
    Mr Speaker, you come to (g), in fact, even (e) -- they talk about “agriculture related to agro-processing and industry”.
    (g) export trade, agriculture related to agro-processing and industry.”
    So, it is throughout. We should be consistent in what we are doing.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    Thank you very much for that point.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker -- “agriculture related to agro-processing and industry”. That would give us the consistency that we desire.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the interpretation section, agro-processing is defined clearly. So, I do not know why we are arguing about it. It says --
    “means adding value to agricultural produce”.
    That is how we have defined it. So, I do not know why we are going round and saying “agric, agric”. You must add value. That one is very clear. If you do not add value, it does not qualify. And we should be careful -- what amendment is --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    That is with regard to agro-processing. What about agriculture itself?
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:05 p.m.
    The intent is not for agriculture. It is a special Fund. This is the Equity Fund.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at the Object of the Fund, it says --
    “The object of the Fund is to provide financial resources for the development and promotion of export trade, agriculture related to agro-processing and industrial development.”
    So, really, it is “agriculture related to agro-processing and industrial development”. So, if you read it disjunctively, it means “agriculture related to agro-processing” and “agriculture related to industrial development.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    I would want to pose a question.
    If a person like the Hon Majority Chief Whip is into pineapple cultivation, would a person like that be entitled to benefit from this Fund?
    We have to look at it seriously.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what does the interpretation say? It says “adding value”. Pineapple export; pineapple in its raw form. Are you adding value?
    Mr Speaker, I believe that it is an export trade. So, it is covered -- [Interruption] -- It is covered because it says -- if you look at clause 2 (2), it says --
    “For the purposes of achieving the object of the Fund, moneys from the Fund shall be applied for the activities determined by the Board that include:
    (a) the development and promo- tion of
    (i) export products.”
    Mr Speaker, “export products related to agricultural produce.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    All right. Hon Members, let us look at the Interpretation section at page 16; we have the definition of “export trade”. It means:
    “…the economic transfer of goods and services produced in this country to another country for future sales or trade with economic benefit.”
    So, I believe that a person into pineapple cultivation is covered.
    Mr Chireh 2:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what we are all talking about, if you look at the “Establishment of the Fund”, and you look at the meaning of “agricultural” and “industrial”, what qualification is that agricultural about?
    I am saying that the House amended the EDIF Fund to include agriculture and all these arguments we are making, if it means going back as the Hon Minority Leader is saying, to put “agriculture” as “agriculture”, and “agriculture” would have to start from the farming activity up to the point of -- [Interruption] -- So, what I am saying is that, if we are going to limit the meaning to “agriculture related to agro-processing”, then of course, clause 1 has a problem.
    Then that first “agricultural” must -- [Interruption] -- because the meaning of that “agricultural” is deriving from agriculture.
    So, what I am saying is that, we should put “agricultural” there and “agro- processing”. And so, the one who is going to sow, the one who is going to plant and finally export, should be entitled to the Fund and not only when the person is adding value. That is the argument.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, we could go on and on. Is it possible to defer this one for the Committee to take a second -- All right, Hon Minister --
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would refer to Act 823, which is what the Hon Yieleh Chireh referred to as an amendment which was done to the original EDIF Act, and subsection (3), maybe, we can borrow the exact words.
    “In subsection (1) by the insertion of agriculture relating to agro- processing and agro-processing industry.”
    So, it would now read --
    “The moneys disbursed from the Equity Finance Account shall be applied for the placement of equity in a company engaged in export trade, agriculture relating to agro- processing and agro-processing industry.”
    We can end it there as a more improved rendition borrowing from the original thought of the amended Act.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have to go back and check ourselves. Mr Speaker, there are several accounts. Generally speaking, we amended it to include agriculture but this particular one has a focus. The issue you are referring to, go to clause 17. Clause 17 captures the issue of agriculture and agro-processing. But that is a different account -- Credit Facility Account -- that agriculture would be captured there. This one is specific.
    It does not mean that agriculture is captured there; so, let us not get it wrong; let us be very clear. This one has a focus. That is why you cannot put agriculture in there; it has to be agro-processing. So, we have to be careful.
    Mr Chireh 2:15 p.m.
    I agree with him. So long as this Fund will be available to those who are farmers and those who do the actual
    farming. Once it is provided for in one of the Funds, then the agro-processing can let go because the whole idea was to exclude. If one excludes agriculture, then one has nothing to export.
    Alhaji Sorogho 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, having listened to the various comments, it is clear that we are confusing ourselves. -- [Uproar] -- There are several accounts; it is not only one account-- the accounts are specific in terms of allocation of funds to the various sectors. This is the Equity Finance Account.
    Mr Speaker, if one goes back, one would see that we have the Project Account, Operational Account, and different other accounts. So, this one is specific on adding value to that.
    So, if one goes to two, the object of the Fund is very clear -- where the Hon Chief Whip had concerns -- it says that:
    “The object of the Fund is to provide financial resources for the development and promotion of export trade, agriculture related to agro-processing and industrial development.”
    And it covers all that they are saying.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, I believe we should defer this one. The Committee should take another look at it and return to the House. I believe that is the best way out.
    Amendment deferred by leave of the House.
    Mr Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Now, can we look at the next clause -- Clause 26?
    Clause 26 -- Eligibility for the Equity Finance Account
    Alhaji Sorogho 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26, add the following new subclause:
    “(2) A person or enterprise shall not qualify to apply for a credit facility from a designated financial institution if that person
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have a problem with it. But I know that in this country, no one has been declared bankrupt even though there is a law. But I do not have any objection to the proposed amendment and indeed, I support it. Let us make our bankruptcy laws work.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think I should have anything against this. But I am seeking further clarification.
    In certain places, we are talking about “enterprises”; other places, we are talking about “persons”; other places we are talking about “person or enterprise” and “person and enterprise”,
    Mr Speaker, again, I think we should be consistent. We define “person” to include “enterprise”. If indeed, that is the case, why do we say “person or enterprise” and why do we use “enterprise” exclusively at certain places and “persons” exclusively at certain places and so on? Mr Speaker, we should be consistent. And throughout the Bill, there is not that consistency.
    So, I am proposing to the Hon Chairman to look at the symmetry and he would realise that we need to be consistent.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, I think I would direct that the draftsperson go through it.
    Alhaji Sorogho 2:15 p.m.
    We can vote on the clause 26.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    So, we are through with clause 26, I would put the Question with regard to the proposed amendment.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 26 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, Hon Members --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not want to be pre-emptive, but when you started saying: “Hon Members, Hon Members”, I got a feel that you were going to ask yourself whether the 20 minutes have not elapsed.
    However, I looked at the Bill and I realise that the amendments are not really substantive. I do not know, even though I am neither a member of Government nor in charge of Government business, I am wondering whether we cannot even go further and then complete the Consideration of this Bill. This Bill has been outstanding for so long a time. We could have done it yesterday, save and except that, neither the Hon Minister nor the Hon Chairman was around. But I do not know.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    If that is the feeling of the House, I am prepared to go along with it.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:15 p.m.
    He has told me he is getting ready to go to the bank and he wants to keep us here.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    That does not matter.
    Hon Members, I would want to get a feel of the House.
    Dr Kunbuor 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we take note of it but I agree with the Hon Member for Sekondi and I am saying that even if anybody has the idea that he wants to go, he has not gone yet. So, we can proceed.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader has not told us that the House has made any arrangements after 2.00 o'clock. It is not fair. We are working, we cannot stay here without having any food to eat, while only a few of us are working. When we agree, let us stop and finish tomorrow. It is only fair.
    Dr Kunbuor 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I withdrew from the floor. We found out that dealing with matters of cuisine was a bit late but adequate arrangements are being made to compensate for that arrangement.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe what the Hon Majority Leader has indicated, really does not answer the pertinent question that was posed. He said to us that “arrangements are being made”. He has not assured us, that after 2.00 o'clock, arrangements have been made. He said “arrangements are being made.”
    Mr Speaker, may I remind that Standing Order 41(1) provides that and I beg to quote:
    “At any time prior to three minutes before the stated time for concluding a Sitting a Member may--
    (b) move for the extension of the Sitting to a definite time later than the stated time of concluding a Sitting.”
    In this particular case, the Speaker himself extended to a definite time and the time is due, with respect to the Chair. But Mr Speaker, I would bow to the Chair, whatever your directive is.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, there are some clauses in respect of which there are no amend- ments. I know how the Hon Minority Leader feels about that. We have clauses 27, 28, 29 and 30. I believe we could just go through those ones quickly and then bring proceedings to a close.
    Clause 27 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 28 -- Management of the Operational Account.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, a little observation in respect of clause 28, line (2):
    “The moneys assigned to the . . .”
    Do we allocate money or we assign money? That is number one.
    “. . . shall be disbursed for the administrative expenses and other related expenses …”
    Would we not consider that it should be:
    “administrative and other related expenses of the Fund in accordance with the regulations, policies and procedures adopted by the Board.”
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Majority Leader wants to offer amendments, he can bring them tomorrow. But once he is saying that you pushed in a specific time, we would be glad if he brings that, otherwise -- [Interruption] -- No! He said we would go over; there are no amendments here for now. So, tomorrow, we can deal with his amendments. But right now, there are no amendments offered by anybody, so, we move on.
    Alhaji Sorogho 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would plead with the Minority Leader and my Hon Brother to allow -- This is because from what he has said, it does not change the import and the draftspersons can take care of what he just said. So, if we can just move on to clause 30, where we do not have any advertised amendment.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am in full agreement with the Chairman, except that I would appeal to the Hon Minority Leader to give notice of his amendments. This is because the Hon Minority Leader offers substantial amendments during Consideration Stages of Bills but he has never filed an amendment -- [Laughter.]
    In this case, there is no amendment, which is being discussed. He is proposing an amendment and suggesting to the Chairman whether he would not take his proposed amendment on board and then move an amendment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I consider this intervention by the Hon Member for Sekondi as grave injustice to myself.
    Mr Speaker, I have often proposed amendments, except that it is not traditional for the Minority Leader or the Majority Leader to be proposing amendments. So, even when we have gone through winnowing, I have often encouraged the Chairman of the Committee to adopt suggestions that may come from me.
    So, Mr Speaker, this intervention, really, is meant to inflict a mortal wound on me -- [Laughter] -- and I take a strong exception to it --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Well, I believe that the Hon Member for Sekondi would withdraw that portion, which deals with the fact or allegation that you have never filed any amendment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there have been occasions in this House when I have filed on one Bill over one hundred amendments and I have trainees who are taking after me.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    I am aware of that.
    So, Hon Member for Sekondi, please.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw that part of my statement which the Minority Leader finds objectionable. I never had any intention of inflicting the
    slightest of wounds on him. But I would also encourage him, since he is always present at the winnowing of Bills, to make these suggestions to the Chairman at that stage; that would also help us.
    Mr Chireh 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much and once he has withdrawn it, and since he did not know what he was even withdrawing, I still believe that he was unfair to the Hon Minority Leader because we all -- [Interruption]--Why, because we all, on the spur of the moment, saw that there is a typographical-- there is something that is notably wrong.
    But the reason I got up, Mr Speaker, is that, throughout the Bill, we have been assigning monies and not allocating monies. So, I thought that he should allow it because in a few past clauses, we actually assigned funds and monies.
    The other one, of course, in law making, as you know, if you say “expenses and other related expenses”, it is just to emphasise the difference. But I think that is more of grammar and the draftspersons should take note of that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    I think that is the directive that is being given by the Chairman.
    In the meantime, let us look at the number of clauses. We have dealt with clause 27 and we are on clauses 28, 29 and 30.
    Mr Kyei-Menssah-Bonsu 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe I have already made this point early on that when we talk about the percentages, again, we should be consistent. In other places, we are using words, in some places, we are using figures. So, let us be consistent. It is in respect of clause 28 (2).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Very well, I direct that as raised by the Hon Minority Leader, the draftsperson assist the Committee to put in place the right terminology and things like that. Subject to that, I am moving on to clauses 28, 29 and 30.
    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to propose an amendment to clause 29 (3), (4) and (5), that the “shall” in all these clauses should be emboldened to put more emphasis on the fact that -- [Interruption] -- No, let me land-- to put more emphasis on the fact that the collection should not be transferred to the Consolidated Fund but rather, be done as stipulated -- This is because very often we have done similar things to Bills but the monies are rather transferred always to the Consolidated Fund. This time, it should be done as stated here.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman, how do you respond?
    Alhaji Sorogho 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the power is not in the bolding. The “shall” is mandatory and so, it does not need any bolding. Mr Speaker, we still maintain it as it is.
    Dr Kunbuor 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess that I got the import of what the Hon Member was saying. So, after the Bill has become an Act of Parliament, he can then take a black ink and embolden the “shall” and it would serve the same purpose for him.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Very well. So Table Office, we are looking at clauses 28, 29 and 30.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 29, just a small matter. As in assigning responsibilities to particular Ministers under any Act, we have rather had a construction to indicate the Minister responsible for that Ministry. Instead of saying a “Minister of” -- say, “Finance”, in case the designation changes, we would rather say the “Minister responsible for Finance,” “the Minister responsible for Water Resources,Works and Housing”.
    In much the same way, we would rather talk about the Commissioner responsible for Customs Division of so and so. That is just the general application.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Yes, I think that point is well made and therefore, I would direct that the draftspersons assist the Committee to put things right.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 28 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Chireh 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you have already put the Question on clause 27, so it is clauses 28, 29 and 30.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    We have dealt with clause 28, so we are at clause 29; I would put the Question--
    Alhaji Sorogho 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 27 was done. We are now at clauses 28, 29 and 30 and the three altogether--
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, if I may draw your attention to the fact that we have already dealt with clause 28 where I gave a rider, that subject to the issues raised by the Hon Minority Leader being dealt with by the draftsperson assisting the Committee, it passes.
    We are now at clause 29, so, I will put the Question subject of course, to the rider with regard to the issues raised by the Hon Minority Leader.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 29 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 30 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    This brings us to the end of Consideration Stage for today.
    Mr Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    I believe this is an appropriate point in time to bring these proceedings to a close. I, therefore, direct that this House stands adjourned till tomorrow, Wednesday, at 10 o'clock, in the forenoon.
    ADJOURNMENT 2:35 p.m.